Sixteen-year-old killed when log falls on him during high school football drill

A high school football player lifting a large log with team-mates as part of a Navy Seals-style drill was hit in the head by the log and succumbed Thursday

A high school football player lifting a large log with team-mates as part of a Navy Seals-style drill was hit in the head by the log and died Thursday, creating the issue of accommodating such military training to young athletes.

Joshua Mileto, a 16 -year-old Sachem East High School junior, and about five of his team-mates were carrying the log overhead when the accident happened at a preseason workout camp supervised by a half-dozen coach-and-fours, Suffolk County police said.

The 5ft 6in, 134 lb broad receiver and defensive back was declared dead later at a hospital.

Sachem East graduate Carlin Schledorn, who played football as a junior, told carrying the log about 12 ft( 3.7 m) long and the diameter of a utility pole was a squad constructing exercise.

Its very big. Its like a tree, and its a challenge for people who weightlift, he said. Five or six people do it at once. I feel horrific for the team and coaches because I know them, and they are all great men.

School officers, including the head coach-and-four, did not comment on the exercise.

A person at Miletos home declined to speak with reporters.

Classmate Olivia Cassereli told Mileto cared about everyone else.

He put others before himself, and everyone loved him and was friends with him, said Cassereli, who called him her best friend.

Some colleges and other high schools around the country have incorporated log-carrying drills and other military-inspired exercisings into their football preparations in recent years, sometimes bring back Seals to teach and motivate. Some coach-and-fours and players say the tough tasks help forge teamwork.

But Douglas Casa, of the University of Connecticuts Korey Stringer Institute, which works to improve safety for athletes, questioned the wisdom of having teens perform training exercises that involves carrying a heavy object and that was developed for Navy Seals, potentially a very different clientele.

Theres so much potential for things to go wrong that I would really want people to think twice before doing something like that, said Casa, the institutes executive director.

Football, at all levels, has become still more safety-conscious in recent years amid scrutiny of head injuries in the athletic. In college football, for example, the NCAA this year barred the two-a-day contact practices that coaches once used to toughen up their squads in the preseason, though many squads had ended them already.

For high schools in Suffolk County, offseason practises are permitted as long as they are not mandated and are open to everyone, said Tom Combs, executive director of the athletic organization that supervises high school sports in the county.

What exercisings that are conducted are the privy of the school district and individuals running the workouts, he said.

In an unrelated incident, another player fell and hit his head Wednesday at the school during training, police told. His injuries were not life-threatening.

Sachem superintendent Dr Kenneth Graham widened condolences to Miletos family and friends and told support services will be offered for as long as needed.

The squads training officially starts Monday, and the football season starts in September.

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